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Adverse possession and commercial property

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2023 | Firm News |

If you purchase commercial property, it’s reasonable to believe that no one else will own it. However, that isn’t always the case. There is a concept called adverse possession that may allow a person to gain ownership of property that belongs to you if they meet certain criteria.

Adverse possession

Adverse possession happens when one person occupies another person’s land without the owner’s permission. That person’s possession of the property must be open and notorious, meaning that it is visible to the property owner.

The occupier must continuously possess the property without the owner’s consent for a certain period of time. If these conditions are met, the occupier may be able to take legal ownership of the property.

Effect on commercial property

Adverse possession can have several negative effects on commercial property. The commercial property owner can suffer significant financial losses because they cannot sell it while the adverse possessor benefits economically.

It can also cause a boundary dispute if the adverse possessor states that they own part of the commercial property and the original owner owns the other part. This can also make it difficult to develop or use the land for commercial purposes.

Also, if the commercial property owner has investors, they may be reluctant to pay for improvements or development on the land if there is a pending dispute.

If you own commercial property, it’s important to regularly check your property and your property records to confirm that no adverse possession claims have been made. If there are, it may be necessary to dispute the claim in court.